Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/6/2006
Publication Date: 12/15/2006
Citation: Anthony, W.S. 2006. The harvesting and ginning of cotton. In: Gordon, S. and Hsieh, Y-L., editors. Cotton: Science and technology. Cambridge: Woodhead Publishing Limited. p. 176-202.
Interpretive Summary: Review article - does not require Interpretive Summary.
Technical Abstract: This chapter discusses current, modern technology to harvest, store and gin cotton. Since the over 100 million bales of cotton produced worldwide differs in quality as well as production methodologies, a single ‘best ginning practice’ does not exist for all cottons--each lot of cotton requires careful assessment of its needs, and thus different ginning practices. For long storage periods, moistures in stored seed cotton should be below 12%. Foreign matter levels in seed cotton before gin processing usually range from 1 to 5% for hand harvested, from 5 to 10% spindle-harvested, and from 10 to 30% for stripper-harvested cottons. A simple gin machine sequence such as a dryer, extractor-feeder and gin stand is required for clean cotton; however, a more extensive machine sequence is required for trashy cotton. The extensive sequence of gin machinery to dry and clean trashy cotton includes a dryer, cylinder cleaner, stick machine, dryer, cylinder cleaner, extractor feeder and saw-type gin stand followed by two stages of saw-type lint cleaning. When gin machinery is used in the recommended sequence, 75 to 85% of the foreign matter is usually removed from cotton. Cotton should be dried at the lowest temperature that will produce satisfactory market grades and allow satisfactory gin operation. The best ginning practice is simply to use the minimum machinery for a particular cotton to achieve the optimum market grade. Two new technologies recently developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and licensed to private industry are available globally. These are a computerized process control system that optimizes cleaning and drying called IntelliGin® and a prescription lint cleaner called LouverMax®. IntelliGin® increases net bale value about $8US per bale, and the LouverMax® reduces the amount of good fiber lost by the lint cleaner and increases bale value about $5US.